Thursday, September 24 2020

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Online groups cheer up people during social distancing

Update: May, 08/2020 - 09:46

Lê Hương

Holding her mobile phone, Đoàn Thu Thủy bursts into laughter while scrolling through posts.

Browsing online groups is a must for her in the evening.

She is browsing the Ghét Bếp, Không Nghiện Nhà (Hate Kitchen, Not a Homemaker) group, which was started just a month ago but has already attracted over one million members.

A photo of burnt dumplings posted by a member on Ghet Bếp, Không Nghiện Nhà group. Photo from the group

Every day, the members post some 4,000 pictures or stories, most of which involve funny situations at home or in the kitchen.

The group was originally a place for clumsy people to share their experiences at home and in the kitchen, in contrast to a group titled Yêu Bếp, Nghiện Nhà (Love Kitchen, Adore Home) created six years ago. The latter has more than 100,000 members, mostly women who share their culinary successes.

A post by a member in Yêu Bếp, Nghiện Nhà showing a beautiful corner at home. Photo from the group

Popular posts on Ghép Bếp, Không Nghiện Nhà include burned tofu dubbed “Night Shadow Tofu”, black chicken called “No Way to Escape Chicken" or “Gone with the Wind Egg” is the caption for a video in which a member makes a rice pancake and puts an egg on the pancake, the egg slips and falls onto the floor.

“I cannot help laughing at the funny posts,” Thủy told Việt Nam News. “The same situations happen every day but the way they present their failures amuse people.”

“The group is a real escape for me from normal life, especially during the boring isolation period,” she said.

“It was created to cheer people up during the pandemic but I think the group will survive longer as people are now too bored with online games or online shopping.

“They really need something funny and entertaining,” she said.

The group’s rules warns members not to share fake news or information hurting other people. Members are also encouraged to respect copyright while posting on the group.

“I think the group has a positive effects in the way its members share clumsy experiences, which can help others draw lessons from their failures,” said Nguyễn Minh Thành, Thủy’s husband.

For his family, Thành said since his wife joined both Yêu Bếp and Ghép Bếp groups, she seems to be much more interested in decorating and cooking.

“First, she posts on Yêu Bếp to share her skills,” he said. “Secondly, she is more confident to do things as good as other members.”

Thành said sometimes his wife shares funny creations at home on Ghét Bếp, like using a drill as an egg whisk.

“I think the post may inspire someone to create something,” he said. “Not only because it’s funny.”

The posts in both groups receive thousands of comments every day.

Thủy is among thousands of Vietnamese people using Facebook and visiting online groups, with many new ones born during isolation including Nghiện Vợ (Wife Addicts) [created on April 8, with over 220,000 members] and Nghiện Chồng (Husband Addicts) [created on April 8, with nearly 10,000 members].

Screen shot of group Nghiện Vợ.

Both groups aim to praise wives and husbands through photos, stories and videos.

Trần Vân Ánh, another frequent visitor but not a member of Nghiện Vợ, said she is sometimes surprised at posts by some husbands, who show profound love for their wives.

“I sent my husband posts so that he can learn something,” she said. “I myself learnt a lot from Nghiện Chồng.

“Thanks to the groups, my husband and I share many things together,” she added. “We love each other more, I feel.”

Psychology expert Lê Tuấn considers such online groups a social phenomenon and an inevitable trend of the digital era.

“I think it’s a healthy way for adults to entertain providing that they still balance real and virtual life,” he said. — VNS

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